GREENVILLE – Greenville senior Christian Chalmers committed to the Otterbein University wrestling team on Monday, becoming the first Green Wave wrestler under Coach David Guillozet to advance to the college level.
Chalmers, the son of Rob and Christina Chalmers, said he’s thrilled about the opportunity to continue his wrestling career in college.
“I’m just super excited about it,” he said. “I’m just real excited to be a part of that family there.”
Chalmers chose Otterbein because of its zoo and conservation program as he hopes to become a zoologist or a conservationist.
Otterbein wrestling coach Brent Rastetter then contacted Chalmers about joining the Cardinals, and the Green Wave senior started to consider continuing his wrestling career in college.
“The coach reached out to me, and I figured, hey, why not see what the coach and the team and the program has to offer,” Chalmers said. “I saw it firsthand visiting there, and I really enjoyed it all. The whole program itself there makes me feel part of the family there.”
Otterbein, which competes in NCAA Division III, restarted its wrestling program during the 2016-17 season. It was the first time the Cardinals competed in wrestling since 1974.
Otterbein had a strong first season back on the mat, putting together a 13-7 record this past season.
Chalmers is excited about the prospect of helping to build the Otterbein wrestling program. He feels prepared for the challenge as his freshman season was Coach Guillozet’s first season at Greenville, giving him experience in helping establish a program.
“It makes you proud as a coach seeing how much he improved through the years,” Guillozet said of Chalmers, the first wrestler he’s had advance to the college level. “It’s exciting. Hopefully we get to maybe go watch him next year a couple times.”
As a 170 pound wrestler, Chalmers went 21-18 as a senior and had 13 pins, 42 takedowns, 31 escapes, 14 reversals and 9 near falls. He finished as the runner up in his division at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II sectional tournament at Graham.
“He’s a good kid,” Guillozet said. “He works really hard. He was probably the hardest worker we had in the room last year. That and his dedication to the sport (makes him successful). And he’s got some athletic ability.”
Chalmers’ goals during his collegiate years include graduating and qualifying for the NCAA championship tournament.
Guillozet expects Chalmers to be successful in college like he was in high school.
“College level is a different level,” the Green Wave coach said. “I’m sure he’ll do fine. He might take some lumps there at the beginning, but just like high school, he turned it on and did pretty well.”